Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: A unique semi-final
Champions League: Will the eventual winners come from this semi-final?
We all saw it. Some will swear that it didn’t happen. But we all saw it.
As Arjen Robben slipped in a sublime third goal for Bayern Munich last night, Barcelona had let their Champions League fate disappear for the second year in a row.
All that is left to see in that tie, surely, is a rock-solid Bayern showing at the Nou Camp before they continue their likely path to certain Champions League dominance for the next three or four years?
Either way, as a neutral I believe the place to be is at the Westfalenstadion tonight, for Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid.
Bluntly put. This is the "cool" man’s semi-final.
Wouldn’t we all like to hold back Bayern’s seemingly unstoppable force, or Barca’s insane tiki-taka robotics from claiming the trophy this year, and let one of the cool teams win?
I know we got Chelsea last year - but I mean really cool.
Should Dortmund "do a Bayern" tonight, the party in the 24,000 standing ‘Südtribüne’ will be a sight to behold: a sea of yellow shirts illuminating "The Special One’s" embarrassed face, as he faces the possibility his time in the sun coming to an end.
A Champions League final is something no one could begrudge Jurgen Klopp’s squad, for all their impressive, natural football and admirable hard work, especially over the last two years. Nor the interesting and unique story behind the squad and the club itself.
With the impending sale of Mario Gotze hanging over Dortmund, Klopp has told their fans to: “leave their negative thoughts at home”.
An almost Mourinho like call to arms for everyone at the club to rally together in what could be their last hurrah?
And Klopp is cool. In his way: crazy cool. On his terms.
But if we’re talking real cool. Look no further, ladies and gentlemen, than Real Madrid.
Cristiano and Jose.
There was a whole lot of bald going on in last night’s match: Arjen Robben and Gerard Pique?
Such things would not happen at Real Madrid.
Mourinho has picked a stylish line-up to match. In his words, Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo and hopefully Angel Di Maria” will all start.
Di Maria might be a little late to the party; his wife had a baby on Tuesday, so he might not be there. So Jose doesn’t know yet. It’s cool, either way.
And Real have reason to sing if they can manoeuvre themselves to the final.
After losing to Bayern at the penultimate hurdle last year on penalties, which denied Jose a meeting with Chelsea - Madrid need a final.
Mourinho said on Tuesday: "Madrid are one of those clubs where finishing second counts for nothing. So we have to reach the final and then win that.”
High standards, but with a squad and a motivation to match any of the four teams left, Real could sneak this trophy away, from beneath the noses of all three.
I would be backing Real Madrid to win this. Either way, I think I can speak for some when I say we don’t want to see Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery embracing at Wembley in a month’s time?
We all know Barcelona have got this covered anyway.
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